The latest issue of the Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu had an interesting technical article on the tools used to create Final Fantasy XV, and it also included a few screenshots of the game, giving us a further glimpse on it ahead of the release of Episode Duscae on March 17th.
The first screenshot showcases one of the vistas of the game, but this time we get an interesting glimpse from inside the level editor.
The developers are able to place shrubs and trees in the environment, raising and lowering the ground and the roads simply by moving the hemisphere-shaped brush around.
The second pair of screenshots show how the level editor can be used for in-engine cutscenes too, also giving a further look on Cidney and Gladiolus.
The tool allows the sync of the audio playback with the scene, the positioning of the camera and the control of the optical effects over a timeline.
The third pair of screenshots shows the VFX editor, used to control the effects.
With this tool the team can control the intensity, vector and origin point of each spark of the particles, letting them create the best special effects ever seen in a Final Fantasy game.
Other tools used to create the game were listed: 3D models and materials are made in Maya. Animators use MotionBuilder and Maya. Simplygon is used to create long distance LOD (low polygon count models displayed when an object is far from the camera to increase performance). PhysX has been adopted as a physics engine, while UI and sound are created with in-house Square Enix tools.
Especially the adoption of PhysX is quite interesting. Final Fantasy XV nature as an open world game definitely calls for quite advanced physics, in order to interact with the world. I definitely can’t wait to see the effect on March 17th.